Friday, January 27, 2006

Media Usage and Consumer Spending

I was curious about how Americans spend their media hours and dollars. I found this post at DarrenBarefoot which lead me to Freedom to Tinker which lead me to this totally money census doc (.pdf). If you check out Table 1116, you will get a good feel for how much time and money Americans spend on Media/Entertainment. And really, if you want to know what someone's values are, what better to look at then how they spend their time and money.

Tables and Analysis after the jump.

Here is the data for 2003. I added a couple of interesting columns.

hrs/yr  hrs/day       $/yr    $/hr   market
(bil $)
      Total 3,663 10.04 777.73 .21 225.54
 Television 1,745 4.78 234.65 0.13 68.05
  Broadcast TV 769 2.11
   Network stations 704 1.93
  Cable & Sat 975 2.67 234.65 0.24 68.05
   Basic 809 2.22 181.09 0.22 52.52
   Premium 167 0.46 53.56 0.32 15.53
 Radio 1,002 2.75 0.37 0.00 0.11
 Box office 13 0.04 39.00 3.00 11.31
 Home video 70 0.19 151.94 2.17 44.06
 Interactive TV 3 0.01 3.82 1.27 1.11
 Recorded music 184 0.50 48.72 0.26 14.13
 Video games 69 0.19 29.78 0.43 8.64
 Consumer Internet 176 0.48 96.35 0.55 27.94
 Daily newspapers 171 0.47 53.68 0.31 15.57
 Consumer books 108 0.30 89.68 0.83 26.01
 Consumer magazines 121 0.33 41.24 0.34 11.96

The first amazing thing is that in 2003, the average American has broken the 10 hours of media a day mark. That is amazing! If you get 8 hours of sleep a night, that means 5/8 of your day is spend consuming media. Even if you take out the radio and music (which I usually consume while doing something else), you are still at almost 7 hours a day.

If there are 290 mil Americans, that works out to over a trillion hours of media consumed a year!

The $/yr column is consumer spending per year. I took that column and divided it by the hours/yr column to get $/hr. This is very interesting. It allows you to see how much people spend per hour they spend consuming the media. This doesn't take into account commercials on radio and TV (and to a lesser extent magazines and newspapers). For all media, people average $.20/hr. That is dirt cheap.

Movies at the theater are the most expensive at $3/hr, with home video trailing at $2.17. Maybe this explains why the quality of movies is so much better than TV. Or maybe it is just because Americans consume over 21 times more hours of TV than movies.

For people with cable, TV comes in between $.13 and $.24 an hour. Really, the number I want here is how much broadcast TV is watched by cable subscribers to figure out the exact value.

On the reading front, newspaper and magazines are in the low $.30s while books are at $.83 an hour. Don't know if this reflects the advertising difference (without advertising maybe newspapers and books would be around $.83) or if it has to do with higher quality/time spent creating books or what.

I wish I knew how much advertisers "pay you per hour" to watch their ads. Number must be out there somewhere. If anyone knows of it, please leave a comment. You could almost look at it as a part time job for most Americans. If 1/3 of TV time is commercials, that works out to 11 hours a week of commercial watching (for those who don't have TiVo and don't go to the bathroom).

The "market" column just multiplies the spending per year by 290 mil Americans. It does not take into account advertising or other revenue streams.

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